A doctor and patient sit in front of a computer to talk about how to prevent the flu.

Lower the stress and worry that sometimes are associated with doctor’s appointments by making sure your loved one has all the information he or she needs.

Here are some ways to prepare for a visit to the doctor:

  • Take all prescription and over-the-counter medications, vitamins and herbal supplements.
  • Write down questions.
  • Let the doctor know about new or increasing symptoms.

These health issues may be treated with medication and diet adjustments before they become more serious:

  • Weakness/fatigue
  • Shortness of breath
  • Inability to exercise
  • Difficulty lying flat without extra pillows
  • Swelling in legs
  • Abdominal distention and bloating
  • Coughing or wheezing
  • Sudden weight gain
  • Nausea or lack of appetite

Most of these symptoms are caused by excess fluid buildup. In heart failure, the body has difficulty ridding itself of salt and water.

  • Be ready to talk about lifestyle changes: Decrease salt intake, increase physical activity and lose weight.
  • Fluid restriction: Limit total fluid intake to 2 quarts (64 ounces or 8 cups) per day to help keep the body from retaining fluid.
  • Sodium restriction: Limit total daily sodium (salt) intake based on the treatment plan to prevent fluid buildup.